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Groundwood Books


Written by Rolli • Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic

For kids 7 - 10 years old | Published April 05, 2016 | ISBN 9781554988044
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship

Cover of Kabungo

Regular price $14.95 CAD

176 pages | 7.5 in × 5 in
Print Format

About this book


Rolli • Milan Pavlovic

Ten-year-old Beverly is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary best friend. Her name is Kabungo, and she lives in a cave on Main Street. No one knows where she comes from or who she really is, but life is never dull when Kabungo is around.

Beverly tries to teach her friend about the ways of the modern world — the importance of teeth brushing, understanding strange holidays like Halloween, learning how to read. But Kabungo doesn’t take well to being civilized, and she can be stubborn, bossy, and plain infuriating. Sometimes Beverly gets so mad that she just wants to move to Cincinnati.

Besides, Kabungo is a skittish cavegirl, and it takes a while to win her trust, even among Star City’s eccentric denizens, such as Mr. Gobshaw, who owns the local drug shop (“We have everything!”) where you’ll find the stuffed tigers right next to the breath mints. And there is Ms. VeDore, who seems to float as she walks around her decrepit mansion, and who throws the most amazing Halloween parties.

Then, just when you least expect it, Kabungo will do something surprising (and when you’re best friends with a cavegirl, you’re not easily surprised). Like planning an unexpected birthday treat for Beverly (even though it isn’t actually her birthday) — at the city dump.

In other words, Beverly learns that there are times for teaching, and times for tipping your head back and laughing.

Hilarious and poignant, Kabungo is the most originally voiced and endearing middle-grade heroine since Pippi Longstocking. Accompanied by quirky line drawings by Milan Pavlovic, this is a gently humorous novel about friendship and community that raises for young readers deeper questions about finding beauty in unexpected places, accepting and celebrating differences, and what it really means to be civilized.

About the Creators


Rolli is a writer and cartoonist from Regina, Saskatchewan. He’s the author of seven books for children and adults, including Kabungo. Rolli’s stories and poems for younger readers appear regularly in the world’s most popular children’s magazines (Highlights for Children, Ladybug, Spider and others), and his cartoons appear in such outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest and the Harvard Business Review. Visit Rolli’s website ( and follow him on Twitter @rolliwrites.

Milan Pavlovic

Milan Pavlovic lives in Toronto with his family. When he is not illustrating picture books, drawing or playing the ukulele, he is teaching visual communication and illustration at OCAD University and Seneca College. His many other books include Son of Happy by Cary Fagan, The Boy Who Invented the Popsicle by Anne Renaud, Moon Wishes by Guy and Patricia Storms, Seamus’s Short Story by Heather Hartt-Sussman (“The illustrations, in rich watercolor and colored pencil, are elegantly patterned —School Library Journal, starred review) and The Snuggly by Glen Huser.

Awards and Praise
  • Winner Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children's Book Award, 2017